13. Creating means for organizations of all size to have their in-house cloud infrastructure – the case of USTO.RE

Author(s): 
Rodrigo E. Assad, Leandro M. Nascimento, Manuella Samarcos
Focus area: 
Cloud infrastructures; Cloud services for business
Who stands to benefit and how: 
Companies of all size which plan to acquire cloud software to maintain their own cloud infrastructure and not depend on other big players; cloud entrepreneurs who envisage to leverage their cloud services by enhancing security and keeping in-house all processed data; government and/or public companies, which need to maintain citizens’ information inside country’s borders, avoiding espionage and improving national security; practitioners and enthusiasts of cloud computing.
Focus of your position paper: 
The scenario of cloud computing has reached a critical point. Several companies of all size around the world need to make a hard decision at some point of their existence: “do we keep using could services from big players like Google or Amazon, or do we maintain our own cloud services in-house?” This question brings up many other variable including data security, quality of services, and mainly: cost. Even a small sized company that needs to keep 24/7/365 on-line servers are spending a lot of money of third-party cloud services. This position paper defends the idea that it is possible for even small-sized companies to have their own in-house cloud services with good quality, high security and at a low cost. Indeed, there is a high up-front investment for purchasing servers, network devices, large-scale storage and other equipment, however, it is still less costly than paying for third-party services for a long time. To show some evidence of this scenario, a Brazilian company named USTO.RE has been developing a set of products and demonstrating that it is possible to avoid depending on big players to maintain cloud infrastructures. Nowadays, USTO.RE has five different software solutions to the growing needs of several companies: - Corporate e-mail: uMail is the software to keep corporate e-mail at maximum security. It uses cryptography for all exchanged messages, it allows access to contact list and calendar and integrate to a customized storage tool that allows that all the attached files are saved properly in a virtual drive. - Cloud storage: uStorage / uDrive are two products that controls any file backups and versioning inside the corporation. Both use P2P technology to faster file transmissions and improve disaster recover, once files are replicated in peers. In addition, uDrive uses iSCSI technology to improve file transfer speed. - Cloud infrastructure manager: uCloud is the product to control in-house datacenters, including virtual machines, network and storage management. uCloud brings up several ways to deal with different commercially known hypervisors, such as, VMWare ESXi, Xen Server and Openstack. It is a complete solution to manage cloud infrastructures. - Desktop virtualization: integrated to uCloud solution, uVDI allows that every collaborator of a given company has its own virtual desktop. This means that the company would not need to provide a computer for every employee, reducing costs of ownership and maintenance. Using solution like uVDI, it is possible to instantiate within minutes, several virtual machines with the same configuration for hundreds of employees, without the need to allocate technical personnel to configure each desktop. - Corporate and cryptographic chat: uConnect is a solution for instant messaging using cryptography to exchange messages in a secure way. uConnect also allows that groups of interest are formed and all instant messages inside a corporation would not be seen by anyone. USTO.RE has many clients around Brazil, including government and private companies. Its practical experiences have proven that it is possible to maintain in-house cloud services at a lower cost than hiring third-party specialized companies.